Spectrum 2.0

Review of 'Manic Miner'

Rating:5 User: winston

Manic Miner is a very simple game. Move left or right, jump, collect the objects, jump over the nasties, and reach the exit for the level when all the items are collected, before running out of air.

It is, also without a doubt, one of the best games for any computer.

Why? Technically, it's rather simple - it doesn't push the Spectrum or any other machine to the limit. It has been said that it's also not exactly an outstanding model of Spectrum games programming, in fact, a bit of the opposite. The game play itself is rather simple. The graphics are simple. From an objective point of view, you could say Manic Miner is a bit overrated.

But Manic Miner is a game that is greater than the sum of its parts. There is something undefinable that makes me come back to this game time and time again, despite it being decades old. It's not just Matthew Smith's humourous touches to the game, nor just the varied levels. There is something Just Right about Manic Miner - something perfect about its playability - and it's very hard to define why this is so. In many games, having to make pixel-perfect jumps makes the game tedious. But in Manic Miner, it's part of the magic.

The technical shortcomings of Manic Miner don't matter either - if these were to be fixed, it wouldn't actually make for a better game. Manic Miner can be enjoyed for what it is, and often attempts at enhancement will burst the magic.